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Digital activity supporting overall business strategy for just a third of charities

Digital activity supporting overall business strategy for just a third of charities

Only 32% of not for profit organisations say that their digital activity supports their overall business strategy, according to a report from The Access Group.

The Access Group’s Not for Profit software division surveyed 254 decision makers and workers in fundraising, marketing or communications in not-for-profit organisations for its State of Digital Maturity Report and that found nearly half of survey respondents only have a link between digital and overall organisational strategies for activities such as fundraising.

In addition, over a third of UK charities say digital maturity is still very much a work in progress within their organisations, with 43% of respondents in senior management positions stating their digital maturity was where they wanted or expected it to be.

With figures from the Chartered Institute of Fundraising (IoF) and Charity Finance Group (CFG) predicting that charities could face a £12.4 billion shortfall this year due to the impact of Covid-19, digital strategist, Ian Patterson who worked alongside The Access Group on the report, believes digital maturity will play a key role in stemming that shortfall.

He said:

“Digital maturity is a term used to describe an organisation’s adoption of digital technologies and processes into their strategies as well as how well they respond to key digital trends affecting their sector. For years, many in the not for profit sector have been slow to adopt technology, with mounting financial pressures meaning tech has often had to take a backseat, especially for smaller organisations.

“The fact that many UK charity and not for profit organisations have not yet aligned their digital strategies with their organisational strategies is certainly worrying. As the emphasis on digital grows within these organisations, the importance of alignment is only going to become ever more important as the sector continues to adjust to the pressures of Covid-19.

“However, this report does demonstrate an evolution in the approach and attitudes towards digital strategies by many. Indeed, in 2020 it’s great to see that the vast majority of not for profits do have either an I.T. and/or digital strategy but it’s clear more work still needs to be done.”

Simon Baines, Managing Director of Access Not for Profit, added:

“The survey findings show that we have reached a new level of digital maturity within the not for profit sector at a stage where it is something obtainable and achievable for all. It’s certainly a challenging time for many within the sector but it is encouraging to see so many organisations taking a closer look at how technology could help them get the most from their critical fundraising activities at a time when they need it more than ever.”

Melanie May is a journalist and copywriter specialising in writing both for and about the charity and marketing services sectors since 2001. She can be reached via www.thepurplepim.com.

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